COVID-19 has forced modern society to re-examine and re-evaluate a lot of aspects of life that had been pretty much set in stone for centuries. Lockdown and social distancing measures have imposed considerable barriers on people, making a number of daily activities impossible or inconvenient enough to be extremely undesirable.
A Remote World
Luckily, we already had the technology in place to ensure that isolation wasn’t complete. Online communication had already become prevalent in many day to day situations, and online courses of all types had already become quite popular by the time the pandemic hit. All we had to do was make as many activities as possible remote – and that project seems to be coming along nicely. However, this forced a radical shift in both the business and the job market.
A lot of companies moved away from the traditional employment practices, opting instead to rely on freelancers to get the job done – often remotely.
Getting any sort of new job, or even hanging on to the one you already had, has also become a very different game. Many businesses collapsed due to the economic or strain caused by the pandemic, with employers forced to contract their workforce or re-examine their priorities when it comes to employees.
Fortunately, there are job opportunities out there for people who really want to work – in fact, unemployment in the UK seems to not be terribly affected by COVID-19. However, with so many sudden shifts in the job market, there have also been changes in what an applicant needs to do to build a good CV. Qualities such as time management, flexibility, communication, and IT skills have become paramount in such a situation – and there is a good reason for that.
Peculiarities of Remote Work
There is a good reason why time management has become even more important for employers in recent days. Everything points to the fact that having a separate dedicated space for different activities can increase a person’s productivity when it comes to those activities quite dramatically. This is why many people are more motivated to go to the gym for a workout, even though they can probably do most of the same exercise at home. The same goes for office work – having a dedicated workspace seems beneficial to the worker’s productivity. Conversely, employee morale, motivation, mood, and ultimately – productivity can drop quite dramatically in the long run while working remotely.
Time management also becomes a serious issue when working remotely, which is why it has become crucial. The twist here is that now time management doesn’t necessarily only mean concentrating on how you can do the required amount of work during the time you spend at the office. Now, it’s all about coordinating activities with people who do not share the same physical space with you, as well as things like avoiding burnout. There are many tips for achieving a balance when working remotely, but they are all based on an underlying principle – strong self-discipline.
The founding philosophy used to improve your remote work experience is simple in its essence, if not easy to implement. Now that you’re working remotely, you may not have a set space and time in which to work strictly imposed upon you by your employer. You need to do that yourself – and find a good balance with how strictly you enforce the separation between your personal and work life. After all, flexibility is all well and good, but it’s rigidity that keeps you on your feet and moving forward at the end of the day.
With this in mind, it is highly advisable that you set up a dedicated workspace – preferably, one that’s separate to your rest and relaxation area. This way, you can separate work life from personal life more easily.
The same goes for time – you need to set and then strictly follow restrictions on when business time begins and ends, and make sure you focus on work-related activities during that time. Conversely, you need to be able to disconnect from work when work time is up. And here’s the tricky bit – although external restrictions on business time and personal activities may be lax when working remotely, you must not let the two bleed into each other. Learning to do so is paramount because mixing the two is the main reason for burnout – and burnout is the last thing you want in the current situation.
One thing is certain – the separation of work life and private life is crucial for a happy and productive remote career. Achieving it will take quite a bit of willpower and effort on your part, but it is absolutely possible.